James Brown’s Wilderness is the epitome of a zombie apocalypse on steroids. A group of 8 people were using an old school building as a place to survive. At night, a group of 3 would patrol the fence outside. They wore full leather outfits with helmets and leather gloves. Armed with crude weapons made from broom sticks with a knife duct taped at the end, they awaited the predators. There were the Leeches that appeared every night. Light would burn them up, or being stabbed in the chest would kill them. However, on the full moon, the much larger and more vicious Woolles prowled. These were faster, stronger, jumped and could smell a human from a long distance.
Nicholas patrolled with his best friend, Troy, and Amy. Nicholas had a secret crush on Amy, but she was in a committed relationship with Troy. After daybreak, the trio would go back inside the school. On the evening of the full moon, a second group patrolled. Ryan, Alex, and Shania faced a Woolie. Overzealous, Ryan went to the gate and exited outside the fence and killed the injured Woolie. Terrified, the rest of the group told him to stop taking the risk, as his jacket arm ripped. After checking to make sure Ryan bore no wounds, he changed into another jacket and resumed watch.
The following day, Nicholas, Troy, Amy, and Leah went to forage for food at the supermarket. Leah had been found wandering the streets during one of their trips, and she was only about ten years old. When they reached the supermarket, the group split up to fill their backpacks with food. Out of curiosity, Nicholas wandered into the back store room. Discovering 9 Leeches sleeping under cardboard boxes, the group quickly killed them. While the adults were dispatching their adversaries, Leah took off and exited the supermarket. The adults pursued her, leaving behind their backpacks in the supermarket. When they finally corralled the little girl, Nicholas discovered his watch had suddenly stopped. The terrified teens began running back towards the school when he realized they had left their food behind. Nicholas races back into the store and carries all of their bags out. Dusk is beginning when he catches up with his friends. They still had an hour’s worth of travel to get back to safety. In desperation, they begin running, but darkness overtakes them. When they are near the school, a Leech attacks. Troy ends up with a broken rib, but otherwise they survive and kill the Leech. They go to sleep when they are safe. However, in the morning, Ryan is dead. He had left the safety again to kill another Woolie, only for the creature to attack and kill him. A foreboding feeling has entered Nicholas , and he feels that their safety in the school is about to end.
The cliffhanger ending of this book is definitely an opening for a sequel, and with impending dangers lurking outside, I foresee a lot more action and possible discoveries about the predator's origins in the next book. This is a chilling thriller story, and I am glad that I am not one of the people in the book. What would you do in the face of danger that wants nothing more than to drain you of your blood?